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Phd Candidate In STS, Collaboration, Innovation And Planning In Regional Energy Transitions

Trondheim, Norway
NOK 532 200 per annum
Closing date
31 May 2024

About the job

Join us in shaping sustainable and just regional energy transitions!

Building upon coordinated efforts to innovate in Norway’s energy system through urban experimentation – in a context where the planning and institutionalization of best practices tends to lag technological development  there is a need to better understand the social aspects of regional energy transitions, relating broadly to socio-technical systems and societal transformations. Learnings from ongoing and planned cases in Norway also provide opportunities to lead in the field of sustainable regional energy transitions, globally.

NTNU Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture (KULT) invites applications for a 3-year PhD position within Science and Technology Studies (STS) focused on collaboration, innovation and planning in urban and regional energy transitions. The position will be part of the KULT Centre for Technology and Society and the research group on Climate, Energy and Environment.

The PhD candidate will work with Dr. Bradley Loewen, Associate Professor and Onsager Fellow in STS and sustainability transitions, in research linking energy transition, planning and notions of ‘desirable’ development, through the investigation of stakeholder networks and collaborations for innovation in the energy transition at socio-spatial scales, e.g. local-regional, urban-rural. According to the interests of the selected candidate, the PhD project may address one or more of the following:

  • Power, agency and transformative capacities in transitions;
  • Social innovation;
  • Constructed local/regional/national capitalist and/or alternative economic relations;
  • Conflicts and contestations, participation and democratic processes in planning energy transitions.

As part of this effort, the PhD project will involve the following research activities:

  • A mapping of stakeholders, innovation activities and the socio-technical system surrounding energy transition in urban, regional and/or rural settings, e.g. the built environment and/or spatial dimension;
  • In-depth socio-technical case studies focusing on stakeholder interactions in planning and/or development processes in Norway;
  • In-depth socio-technical case studies addressing urban and rural (social, technological and/or environmental) innovation in Norway and in international (Nordic-Baltic) comparison.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree. The employee must complete the PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture within three years. The appointment period is divided with ½ year for compulsory course work and 2 ½ years for completion of the PhD project.

The PhD will have the possibility to collaborate with other PhDs/postdocs and researchers at KULT and to connect their work with the ongoing Centres for Environmentally Friendly Technology (FME), e.g. the Norwegian Centre for Energy Transitions Strategies (NTRANS), as well as other relevant projects focusing on energy and climate transition at the department. The candidate will be encouraged to participate in an international research stay and to draw connections with international cases at partner universities.

The PhD’s immediate leader for employment related matters is Head of Department.

Duties of the position

The successful applicant must:

  • Conduct empirical data collection through qualitative methods such as interviews, participant observation and focus groups, or other qualitative methods relevant to the research design;
  • Analyse such data through theories and concepts from Science and Technology Studies (STS) or other relevant disciplines;
  • Complete the obligatory coursework in the Ph.D.-program for Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture;
  • Produce a PhD thesis, preferably based on peer reviewed articles published in key international journals;
  • Present, communicate and disseminate work at relevant national and international venues;
  • Be an active participant in the day-to-day activities at the department, the Centre for Technology and Society, and the research group on Climate, Energy and Environment.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Science and Technology Studies (STS) or equivalent education. Examples of other relevant backgrounds that may be considered are Anthropology, Economics, Human Geography, Innovation Studies, Planning, Political Science or Sociology.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by the closing date of the application period.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant 

Preferred selection criteria

  • We will emphasise completion of the Master’s thesis on time.
  • Knowledge of or interest in Social Science and Humanities studies of energy, sustainability transitions, controversies, participation, public engagement and inclusion, and/or interdisciplinarity.
  • Experience with qualitative research methods.
  • Excellent English skills (written and oral).
  • Fluency in a Scandinavian language will be considered an advantage.

Personal characteristics

  • Able to collaborate with others e.g., through co-authoring research papers, as well as to conduct independent research;
  • Flexible and reliable;
  • Motivated, organized and goal-oriented.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Science and Technology Studies within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The appointed candidate is required to have Dept. of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, NTNU as a daily working place.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must be attached to the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include: 

  • CV and certificates
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position
  • A maximum 3-page motivational letter containing initial research ideas, i.e., a project proposal, relating to the topics of the advertisement and supervisor’s research profile
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • A list of publications, if available

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Bradley Loewen, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR advisor

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 31.05.2024


NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture

We conduct research and teaching in two subject areas: equality and diversity, and science and technology studies. The Department has an active research environment with a high proportion of external funding. The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture is one of six departments in the Faculty of Humanities.

Deadline 31st May 2024
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Fixed Term
Place of service Høgskoleringen 1, 7491 Trondheim

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